Sales and marketing alignment is key to a successful company, but what happens when things go wrong? In this article, we explore seven signs that your company might be out of alignment with your sales department. From mismatched goals to communication breakdowns, these problems can severely impact your business. If you’re seeing any of these signs in your own company, it’s time to take corrective action!
1. Sales Goals Are Unrealistic
No one likes to fail. Sales reps especially do not like to feel as though they have fallen short of their quotas, and this can lead to a lot of problems in an organization when the sales department’s expectations are unrealistic. Salespeople need to be given quotas they believe they can hit or surpass, or else their morale suffers and they begin to resent the company. Sales goals should be attainable, but always encourage your sales reps to aim higher than what they think is possible, and reward this behavior with bonus accelerators or a similar cash gift. Seriously, no one wants a trophy.
2. Salespeople Are Not Motivated by Critical Business Issues
The sales department needs to be aligned with the business goals of an organization in order for an effective sale to occur. Salespeople who know their product is the solution to an important customer problem are more likely to hit their quota than those who feel apathetic about selling a product that may not be of use. Sales reps must research and understand critical problems in order to link them with your products or services, which can increase motivation for both you and your representative. A mismatch between the problems your product team is trying to solve, and your sales team is trying to solve can lead to a lack of motivation as well.
3. Sales Reps Do Not Understand Your Offering
Having detailed and informative marketing material is crucial to a successful sales team, as well as good customer service and technical support personnel who know your products inside and out. Without this knowledge, reps cannot effectively sell or even troubleshoot problems with customers. Salespeople need to be kept in the loop about new products and features, as well as what sets you apart from your competitors. Sales reps cannot be effective if they are not fully informed about the organization’s services or how to utilize them. Ask yourself:
- What should Sales reps know about your company’s products?
- What is the process for Sales reps to learn about your products?
- Do Sales reps need technical knowledge about your products? How do we best simplify this information for them?
- How can Sales reps be more effective in their sales pitches?
- Are there any resources available to help Sales reps learn more about your products?’
- Should I be personalizing my pitches and sales demos to my prospects?
4. Salespeople Are Afraid of Asking Questions
Sales departments should be full of go-getters who are not afraid to ask for information or guidance when they need it. Sales reps that feel uncertain or anxious about taking a prospect through a demo, for instance, cannot be expected to close the sale. Salespeople who are knowledgeable and confident in their skills can help maintain a strong relationship with clients and offer excellent customer service. Sales reps should not hesitate to ask questions if they do not understand something, as this makes for a more productive, legitimate sale.
5. Salespeople Are Not Held Accountable
A lack of accountability on the part of sales reps can lead to many problems with an organization’s overall business goals. This is why its so important to continually train your sales reps as a team to ensure reps understand how to present your business value, what problems your software solves, and how to best connect with your prospects. Consider assigning new reps to work with seasons salespeople their first few months, to ensure they are hands on and learning from the best in your team. Frequent check in’s and a well stocked internal employee enablement library go a long way towards a successful revenue team!
6. Salespeople Are Not Trained Properly
The quality of the training that your salespeople receive will directly impact the quality of their work. Sales reps that are given outdated information or taught how to sell ineffectively due to lack of training cannot expect to be successful. Sales managers should ensure reps are properly trained, and should provide additional help when necessary. Salespeople who feel they have benefitted from their education about the company or their products are more likely to be productive and efficient. Sales reps who lack proper training need to receive the necessary instruction in order to improve.
Looking for great podcasts for your sales team to listen to, to up-level their skills? Try some of the following:
- Move: The Go To Market Podcast
- Sales Gravy
- The Salesman Podcast
- The SDR Chronicles with Morgan J Ingram
- Sales Hacker Podcast
- Sales and Marketing Fri-Talks
- The Advanced Selling Podcast
Sales alignment is crucial for success in business. Salespeople who are not properly informed, trained or held accountable will be less productive and more likely to cut corners. Sales reps need effective training so they know how to sell your products effectively and provide good customer service. If you’re experiencing any of these 6 symptoms in your own company, it may be time to take action!